Adventurer's Consumer Guide

Andreas plays Adventurers Consumer Guide

This IF comes recommended to me by Emily Short herself. As it proceeded me ranting about Blue Lacuna making me rage-quit, I’m not yet sure whether this recommendation will be an honest one, or a “So you like BAD IFs, huh? Well, here’s one that will Blue Lacuna look awesome by comparison.” kind of recommendation.
Also I’m trying to get used to a new type of keyboard (for ants), so if I’m not writing as much, or you notice any tyops, that’s why.

Adventurer’s Consumer Guide
You are a product tester for the …

…aaand textdump. Is this what Emshort meant by brief IFs? I hope not. Hopefully this intro will just be little over one page long. There’s backstory, briefing, dialogue, instructions, and pointers to help commands, so it’s still keeping things short.

It is possible to put this game in an unwinnable state,

“…yet we didn’t feel any need to remove said state, because we felt that it contributed to the game.” Well, I’ve missed a certain mailbox in Cryptozookeeper, so how bad can it be, right?
Oh, good: The dump only lasted for one page. Now where are we? On a mountain ledge? As an example of a brief IF, was the “You’re writing an article for a magazine.” backstory really necessary? “You’re lost in the mountains with a goblin.” would have gathered my interest much faster than the Paranoia™ style intro.

[Somewhere here two transcripts happen, and I lose my will to type, so the rest is just me jumping straight to a boring conclusion. Will only post the commented transcripts at request, because they’re mostly boring.]

At the end of the second transcript, I’ve had enough. It’s not that the game is worse than Blue Lacuna. It’s the keyboard I have to put up with, that’s ruining it for me. Also, while it was fun to revisit Paranoia, this wasn’t what I meant with using less words. I welcome the simplified interface – I’m working on an identical one myself – but doing away with “examine” was too much. ACG is on the same level as any other IF: it’s a normal piece of IF, while I was hoping to play something extremely brief as an example. My complaint for Blue Lacuna, was that it was bordering on a CYOA, and in that regard ACGs was exactly that: A narrow choice of which item to use – just even less locations. Instead of five locations offering three blue choices each (in Blue Lacuna), I get EIGHT choices following me around wherever I go.
I also suspect that letting the gremlin out of the cage, was me setting the game to an unwinnable state, and if that was the case, I would have been pissed, so me quitting now, is preemptive troll-prevention.
I guess I
M going to have to show you all how it
S done later, when my IF is finally released somewhere around the year 3015 when robots rule the world.
(Freaking keyboard!)

I am sorry to hear that your keyboard sucks. If you simply want to play brief IF with few words, why not try some speed IF, like Ectocomp entries? It’s inherently brief as the author only has a few hours to complete a game. Of course it’s also often quite shoddy for the same reason.

Well, maybe you prefer Interactive Flash Fiction.

You might enjoy 9:05 if you haven’t played it yet.

You’re also making it hard for us to suggest games because you seem not to like big/involved games or games with a lot of text, and well, in IF there’s often a lot of text in the best games. But maybe you could try

All Roads (though maybe you’ll find the story confusing, pointless and pretensious)

Galatea (it’s less of a game and more of an experience, but there’s little textdumping)

A Day for Fresh Sushi ( Gamewise extremely simple, the fun of this game is in the fish’s commentary.

Hunter, In Darkness A very atmospheric cave crawl where it’s not the amount of words but the quality of the writing and the gameplay that make up the creepiness.

All Alone Stalker horror, there doesn’t seem to be a way to win it, fairly brief.

Shade Surreal, quite minimalistic in its way. One-room vastness.

Dual Transform

Maybe any of these will be best for you? I’m mostly trying to find what you’re looking for so you can, first of all, tell us what it actually is you’re looking for, and secondly so you can then learn to search for yourself, as you’ll recognise the similarities in the games, the sizes, the reviews.

Incidently, what games of IF have you enjoyed so far? You mentioned “Cryptozookeeper” and that’s anything but brief.

Perhaps a pop-up book?

Ecdysis This is horror, short, and has clickable hyperlinks so you don’t have to type.

A Colder Light - - is not short on text, but you don’t have to type anything; it’s the closest thing to parser-IF that it can be without being parser-IF.

Fail-safe - - dives you straight into the action, and all the information you need to know emerges through the game. There are a couple of info-dumps but they’re presented in a different manner than usual, so you might like them best.

These are the best I can come up with. I hope you like some of them at least. I can also advise you never to boot up Make It Good, Curses or Jigsaw, or any of the Andy Phillips games: Heist, Enemies, Heroine’s Mantle, Inside Woman, Time: All Things Come To An End.

Also, there are some gems like Anchorhead and Babel that I fear you may be missing out on.


But that’ swhat IF is. You always have lots of choices. It’s your inventory, it’s the world around you… I’m not sure I follow your reasoning here, please elaborate. In any IF you’ll always have lots of set choices for every location plus a few that are in your inventory and, crucially, the ones that you haven’t thought of yet.

Not to my recollection. I wandered about that a lot when I played myself - the game has a warning like THAT and then allows you to free the gremlin like that. Anyone would think “Oh great, this was it, it’s now unplayable”. In fact that’s supposed to happen sooner or later, and if you don’t do it, the game will do it for you. The unwinnable section is closer to the end, where you have to traverse some ledges and it’s possible to be stranded in one without being able to return, but it’s really obvious when that’s happened.

Oh dear, sorry. I was not playing a trick on you – not really my style – though I did misremember the length of the intro.

I seem to come across as some serious guy that people should take literally. I mess with people - it’s how I write reviews. I just leave out all the playful wink smileys. :wink:

For the record… ignoring the mailbox in the first scene for Cryptozookeeper does not put the game in an unwinnable state. I know there’s a few places on the Internet that says this is the case, but it’s not. There’s an alternate solution.

Hm…Andreas, there are some “story-less” pure-puzzle IF games out there. If you want a clear objective with little text, try The Art of Fugue by Victor Gijsbers. The only text that gets close to one page in that game is the “help and making of…” section.

Well, while you’re in between IF’s, Andreas, here’s an awesome movie trailer to check out. This one is a classic.

Oops… forgot this: :wink:

There’s just too many suggestions. I really wish I could play all of these, but I actually just had time left for Adventurer’s Consumer Guide (or at least half of it) because I figured that that was the hotest recommendation. If I ever get around to it, I think I’ll do MTWs suggestion next, but don’t hold me to that. There’s apparently some kind of holiday approaching too, and I don’t even know.

Yeah, well, since I was going to shoot in the dark I thought I might as well fire off as many as I could.

Yeah, stop being so damn helpful! What’s that all about?